Friday, September 08, 2006

Technical question

Out of curiosity, is the sidebar with the links on my blog looking weird? Or for that matter, is it even there?

I rarely check my blog at work. Call it paranoia if you will. But one time I checked and the sidebar looked...skewed. And when I checked today it didn't even appear.

The reason I ask is that it looks perfectly normal at home. But here I'm using Safari as my primary web browser and Firefox as a back-up. At work I'm forced to use the festering piece of crap that is Internet Explorer (Pleas to our IT department to let me use another browser have gone on deaf ears, alas).

So I'm wondering if my browser is looking weird in IE, basically.

This is just the latest racket I'm having with blogger. I'd like to do more with the blog in terms of how it looks. Not flashy, necessarily, but just cleaner and more attractive. But I don't have time to go and learn all the necessary HTML code. I know it's not rocket science, but really, I have a hard enough time in the run of a day to write new stuff for the blog, let alone spend the necessary hours tweaking the code.

So basically, for those in the know, is Wordpress a better option? Is the layout and stuff easier to do in Wordpress if you're not a whiz at HTML and don't have the time to learn? I've done a quick look at it seems that way, but I figure it can't hurt to ask.

Also, if I opt to head over there, would there be much of a problem transferring over what I've written in Blogger? I've written something like 400 articles on Blogger so far. They're not all works of genius, but I'd be loathed to just leave them here if I move to Wordpress.

Recommendations and suggestions would be welcomed...


Anonymous said...

your right sidebar is all the way down at the bottom of the page today. usually it isn't.

J Consortium said...

I'm interested in hearing the answer to this as Jeff and I would like to move to our own domain using Wordpress. Blogger is SO slow and apparently if you use Wordpress's site it is slow too.

From what I've seen of Wordpress code, it looks pretty simple to tweak.

I checked your site in IE (I hate it too)...your site has the same problem ours did. Your links are down at the bottom because the width of your tables is too wide for the screen. If you go into the code and narrow the sidebar table it'll look fine.

Wolfgang said...

This guy here changed his site from blogger to wordpress, he made some comments on his blog about the whole ordeal of transfering content from one to the other (excellent blog about Montreal by the way!).
I didn't see the sidebar on your blog since I use IE here at home again, always showed up for me when I used Firefox.

vickyth said...

I transferred to Wordpress as blogger was constantly conking out on me. When I got there, I realised how easy it was to work with.

They limit you to a number of "themes"or skins, but you can customised them quite a bit and there are far more of them now than when I joined. I think they add another theme or two on average of once a week.

I like how easy it is to fiddle with the blogroll, customise the header and organise things without having to worry about the html. I can do html, but I don't enjoy it.

Also, Wordpress introduced an import feature (just after I moved - sigh) that allows you to switch over with little to no pain. It even imports comments.

You could try it out,leaving your blogger account intact and mirroring on Wordpress. That way, if you're not happy, you can revert back.

vickyth said...

Incidentally, I don't find Wordpress slower, especially now that they've done all their server upgrades. They also have a timed backup save option for writing posts, which is extremely nice....

Great spam filters, too.

The one drawback I can see some folks having is that you can't use flash badged or scripts in the sidebar. But that's never been a real issue for me.

Ed Hollett said...

In Firefox, the blog appears fine and everything is where it is supposed to be.

On IE, towniebastard does not show properly, with the right task bar being booted to the bottom of the page. It's a formatting thing, for sure.

Since I don't use IE very much, I wouldn't have noticed.

Way Way Up said...

Yeah, your sidebar is a little "off". I've been having my own troubles with blogger lately. But I thought it was just my computer or my lack of computer savvy. Good to know I'm not the only one frustrated with Blogger. I've actually considered moving my blog as well. Blogger is painfully slow at uploading pictures I find.

Jody said...

I've been using WordPress (not for years, so my opinion is biased; however, I have helped a few folks with converting from to WordPress, including

First, I don't use free hosting such as I pay for my web-hosting because it allows more control over my website.

Second, Wordpress is open source; you can customize its code to fit your needs, if you're up to the task. It's also written to allow non-techies a relatively easy way to update their website's look via themes. You can install any amount of themes you want and switch them on-the-fly, customizing them to suit your needs. Also, there's a huge support-base for WordPress, so finding help isn't hard.

WordPress can import posts, although I've never tried it.

Feel free to contact me (see my About page on my site) if you have any questions about it or web-hosting.

Tina Chaulk said...

The formatting problem of the sidebar moving down is almost always because a picture you've posted is too big. It widens out the main content section, pushing the sidebar down.

Simon said...

I recently swapped from IE to Fox. Looks dandy to me!

His Nibs said...

I had a nice long comment written up while I was in Winnipeg over the weekend, but for some reason Blogger wouldn't accept my password. So here's my precis:

IE sucks. Why do so many people use it? Why do sys admins not switch? People I ask say they won't use alternatives because they 'just don't wanna.'

IE 5 for Mac is even worse for developers than its other incarnations. Odds are you should be able to use Firefox (which has a nifty IE Tab add-on that lets you use the IE 'engine' inside a Firefox tab). If not, try Opera 9, and as a last resort go for Safari. Netscape 8 is not yet available for Mac OSX, though an earlier version is supported.

Wordpress is fine. But if fixing the sidebar is all you want, then do it inside Blogger. There are lots of templates you can use, and the one you have now can be easily tweaked.

Getting your own website will cost about $15CAN/year for the domain name, and about $10CAN/month for a server. Don't bother if you just have a 'spare time blog'.

regards, cat`